A market that really doesn't need an excuse to rally got one.

A friendly employment

report propelled the tech sector to another record day.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index finished at an all-time closing high of 1221.10, up 56.99 points, or 4.9%. It eclipsed the previous all-time high of 1218.47 made Jan. 3.

TheStreet.com New Tech 30 closed up 73.5, or 9.4%, at 782.11. Check out

James Padinha's

economic take on the day's events in his

column on the employment report.

Winners were seen in virtually all Net subsectors.



, which said yesterday it would split its stock 2 for 1, closed up 30 5/16, or 10%, at 330.

Exodus Communications


, which also announced a 2-for-1 split, closed up 10 9/16, or 7%, at 158. And



, which announced a 3-for-2 split, closed up 6 9/16, or 8%, at 86.

Network Solutions


closed up 35 11/16, or 11%, at 355 11/16 on the same day that competitor



went public. Register.com finished up 33 1/4, or 139%, at 57 1/4. On Thursday, Network Solutions said that customers can take advantage of longer Web addresses by registering for domain names of up to 67 characters.

Other IPOs also had strong debuts.



, a provider of Internet infrastructure solutions to telecom providers in China, closed up 75 9/16, or 315%, at 99 9/16.



, a provider of software that allows businesses to rapidly deploy e-business applications, closed up 68 3/4, or 286%, at 92 3/4. However,

Prime Response


, a developer of e-marketing campaign management software, could only manage a gain of 5 7/8, or 32.6%, to 23 7/8.

Positive research helped a couple of stocks as well.



closed up 15 1/2, or 11%, at 161.

Merrill Lynch

analyst Henry Blodget raised his 12- to 18-month price target on Inktomi to 175 from 112.50 (225 presplit) after Inktomi announced that

StarMedia Network

(STRM) - Get Report

was its first customer for its multi-lingual search platform. Blodget has firmly climbed on board Inktomi after downgrading the stock last

October, then

upgrading it back in December. In the latest report, Blodget wrote that he was not raising revenue estimates, but recent conversations with management suggested the outlook for the quarter was strong. Merrill has done underwriting for Inktomi.

Blodget also had kind words about



, which ended up 7 5/8, or 15%, at 60. He reiterated a buy rating on the Internet portal and a 12-month price target of 100, writing that the stock's valuation was "attractive by any standards, not to mention Internet standards." Merrill has done underwriting for Lycos.